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Man facing felony charges for striking Juneau bartender with glass of beer

Posted: October 15, 2013 - 12:07am

A Juneau man has been indicted on four felony counts of assault for allegedly striking a bartender in the face with a glass of beer earlier this summer.

Steve A. Kanan, 42, was previously facing less serious charges in connection to the Aug. 23 incident at the Alaskan Hotel and Bar, but a grand jury on Friday charged him with two counts of assault in the first and second degrees.

According to an affidavit filed by Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp, bartender Annie Nelson noticed an intoxicated male causing problems at the bar a little before midnight and she asked him to leave. As she escorted him to the exit, she asked for the pint glass of beer he still had in his hand.

Instead, the man swung the glass of beer toward her and struck her in the face with it, the affidavit states. Nelson began to bleed immediately, and she would later require multiple stitches for two gashes on her forehead in between her eyes, the affidavit states.

Three men who witnessed the scene restrained Kanan until police arrived and arrested him. Nelson reported that she had never seen him before.

Kanan is being held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on $20,000 cash performance bond. He is represented by Assistant Public Defender Grace Lee, who said her client maintains his innocence.

The District Attorney’s Office previously convened a grand jury on Aug. 30 which indicted Kanan on the less serious charges of second- and third-degree assault. Those are class ‘B’ and ‘C’ felonies that are punishable by up to 10 years and five years in prison, respectively.

Kemp said her office amended the indictment — to include two counts of first-degree assault — in light of additional information her office has received about the victim’s injuries.

First-degree assault is defined in state statutes as recklessly causing serious physical injury to someone by means of a dangerous instrument. It’s a class ‘A’ felony that can be punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Nelson declined to comment when contacted by phone on Monday,

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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